It’s time to continue our series breaking down the Mavericks’ roster.

Rather than just running down the assets and debits of each player, we’re going to approach this year’s roster evaluation a little differently.

With a sound track.

Since the Mavericks reached the Western Conference finals last season and have made it clear that championships are the only measuring stick they will use moving forward in the Luka Dončić era, it’s time to analyze what they need from each player to someday make that a reality, preferably sooner than later.

And there’s a theme song, sometimes more than one – basketball’s version of walk-up music, if you will – for each player.

So here we look at each player (in alphabetical order) and what they must accomplish for the Mavericks to be title worthy. We’ll assume good health for everybody, which is always the No. 1 issue.

Next up is Tim Hardaway Jr.

THEME SONGS: I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor and Legs by ZZ Top.

STAT FROM 2021-22 THAT MUST IMPROVE: The obvious one is the 42 games he played last season, which was cut short by the foot injury that required surgery in late January. But the 33.6 percent 3-point shooting he had until that point must improve, no matter how many games he plays.

BREAKDOWN: Hardaway has established himself in three-plus seasons with the Mavericks as a solid perimeter player who can knock down shots and score in bunches when the defense starts paying too much attention to Luka Doncic. What’s next is going to be interesting to find out. The injury in January left the Mavericks without their third-best scorer. But, it also opened the door for opportunities for Jalen Brunson, Spencer Dinwiddie and Reggie Bullock. So where does Hardaway fit as he returns from a half-season’s absence? He’ll likely be coming off the bench, but as always seems to be the case, he will be capable of starting if needed. He’s been a floater in that regard throughout his tenure in Dallas. Knowing Hardaway, he’s going to come back this year with a vengeance. He’s never backed down from challenges and won’t stop now. So he will survive just fine, hence the first song in his playlist. The only question is whether his legs are up to the challenge. The broken bone in his foot should be 100 percent healed. But it’s never a guarantee that the jump shot will be as smooth and as accurate as ever. But if it’s not, it won’t be for any lack of effort. The man isn’t afraid of hard work, which he put in a lot of to recover from the surgery.

NEXT: Jaden Hardy.


Josh Green:

Dorian Finney-Smith:

Tyler Dorsey:

Luka Doncic:

Spencer Dinwiddie:

Reggie Bullock:

Davis Bertans:

Twitter: @ESefko

Share and comment

More Mavs News